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What is it about standard tuning...


AlChuck

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Hey all,

 

A bass player friend asked me the other day, "so what is it with the guitar with that major third inetad of a perfect fourth between the third and second strings?" And I opened my mouth and said, "Well, I... uh..." and my jaw hung slack and i scratched my head and I realized... I don't rightly know why. I just kind of accepted from day one that that was how it was and there must be a good reason for it... probably something to do with making certain intervals more readily available in that register... but I honestly don't know why.

 

Can anyone here explain it to me? So I can then explain it to my bass player friend (who thinks its the weirdest thing in the world...)?

 

Thanks!

 

-AlChuck

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Your bass player friend doesn't have to play chords. I have a friend who has tuned to fourths for many years. He cannot make a barre chord, Well he can but it sure sounds different than mine.

 

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Mac Bowne

G-Clef Acoustics Ltd.

Osaka, Japan

Mac Bowne

G-Clef Acoustics Ltd.

Osaka, Japan

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Originally posted by gtrmac@hotmail.com:

Your bass player friend doesn't have to play chords. I have a friend who has tuned to fourths for many years. He cannot make a barre chord, Well he can but it sure sounds different than mine.

 

 

I'm no expert, but I believe this is correct. Most other western stringed instruments are designed to play only 2 strings simultaneously. (violin, viola, cello, double bass) They are tuned to straight 4ths for more consistant linear motion on scales.

 

Any experts want to agree/disagree?

 

 

 

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Neil

 

Reality: A few moments of lucidity surrounded by insanity.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

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Thanks for the replies...

 

At first I thought, barre chords?

 

Then I sat down with a neck diagram and wrote some 5-6 string moveable forms and considered how the fingering would have to change to "make" the chord. To play the same voicings with a straight-4ths tuning would be nearly impossible.

 

We would all have to have hands like Allan Holdsworth to play simple E major chords and such...

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Tedster,

 

Well, if you stand on your head or go downwards or backwards or however you want to express it, a fourth is a fifth...

 

If you tuned from high to low you'd be tuning by fifths...

 

But actually I don't know, maybe fiddles really are tuned in ascending fifths... anyone know?

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Probably has something to do with scale length...mandolins are tuned to fifths, too. That'd be a heckuva stretch on something with a scale length as long as a guitar...but on a short mandolin or violin neck it's no problem.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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